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In a tweetstorm, the president asserted that his base of support is “far bigger & stronger than ever before,” and used his recent 2020 campaign rallies as proof. Trump also claimed that his support base is becoming a more tight-knit group due to both negative press—the “Fake News Russian collusion story”—as well as what the president touts as successes, such as the surging stock market and his sweeping deregulation.
The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling). Look at rallies in Penn, Iowa, Ohio.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2017
...and West Virginia. The fact is the Fake News Russian collusion story, record Stock Market, border security, military strength, jobs.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2017
... Supreme Court pick, economic enthusiasm, deregulation & so much more have driven the Trump base even closer together. Will never change!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2017
Trump has enjoyed large crowds at rallies across the Midwest in recent weeks. At a July 25 rally in Youngstown, Ohio, more than 20,000 people registered for the event despite the Covelli Centre hockey arena holding just 7,000, according to police. And approximately 9,000 people came out to see the president at a rally in Huntington, West Virginia, last week.
The “phony Fake News polling,” as Trump calls it, does throw cold water on the president’s claims of a “bigger and stronger” base, however. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week pegged Trump’s approval rating at just 33 percent overall, a new low.
The poll also found support among white voters without a college degree—a key portion of Trump’s base—have a dwindling view of the president’s job performance. Just 43 percent of that demographic approve, while 50 percent disapprove. That’s a 10-point drop over June when 53 percent approved of Trump’s job performance.
The Quinnipiac findings follow a poll from Firehouse Strategies that question voters from four key swing states: Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The poll found “Trump losing support inside the Republican Party and a noticeable drop in his perceived honesty.”
Those who hold a “strongly favorable” view of the president fell from 35.3 percent in April to 28.6 percent at the beginning of August, the poll found. Among Republican voters, Trump’s “strongly favorable” rating fell to 44.9 percent from 54.1 percent, and unfavorable views jumped over seven points, rising from 20.5 percent to 27.9 percent.
According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, Trump’s job approval rating is 38.9 percent while his disapproval rating is 56 percent. At the beginning of February, Trump’s average approval and disapproval ratings were roughly tied at 44 percent.
Given that Trump lost the popular vote while winning the Electoral College, he’s going to need his supporters to be more than just “closer together.”
Andrew Couts is the former editor of Layer 8, a section dedicated to the intersection of the Internet and the state—and the gaps in between. Prior to the Daily Dot, Couts served as features editor and features writer for Digital Trends, associate editor of TheWeek.com, and associate editor at Maxim magazine. When he’s not working, Couts can be found hiking with his German shepherds or blasting around on motorcycles.